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Instant pot gumbo | Easy Cajun Recipes

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Instant Pot gumbo is a delicious Cajun comfort food dinner. This thick stew is a traditional southern dish from New Orleans featuring sausage and shrimp cooked with okra.

I love to serve this for gathering like football game day or any time friends are over! It is hearty and satisfying with amazing flavor. Serve it over rice and a pot will feed a crowd! 

Gumbo originated in the blend of cultures of the enslaved west Africans brought to Louisiana in the 1700s with the colonists. So everyone has their own recipe, with their own way of putting the flavors together.

Some of my most popular Instant Pot meals are Cajun inspired! Check out my recipes for Instant Pot jambalaya or Instant Pot dirty rice for more favorites. 

Instant Pot gumbo in a blue bowl

Why You Will Love Instant Pot Gumbo

  • It is easy to make. While this recipe shares many ingredients in common with jambalaya it is a better beginner pressure cooker recipe. It isn’t difficult to make delicious gumbo.
  • It is perfect for a big Mardi Gras party but also great for a Sunday dinner.
  • You can skip the shrimp and make it sausage gumbo or add chicken for a chicken gumbo. It is a very adaptable recipe!
instant pot gumbo ingredients

Key Ingredients

Andouille sausage – This is a spicy Cajun sausage. If you can’t find it you can substitute another type of sausage such as chorizo, which is also spicy or polish kielbasa which isn’t very spicy.

Shrimp – I like to use small or extra small shrimp in this recipe.

Onion, celery, green bell pepper – These three vegetables are the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking and are staples of most Louisiana cooking.

Okra – Okra not only helps flavor the gumbo it also helps thicken it. Frozen okra works fine in this recipe.

Flour and oil – These are cooked slowly to make the roux, which thicken and flavors the gumbo.

Tomatoes and chicken broth – These two ingredients make the broth for the stew.

Gumbo file – This is an herb made by grinding up the leaves of sassafras trees. It helps thicken the stew and adds a distinct flavor to the dish. But if you can’t find it, leave it out.

Seasoning – Cajun seasoning, garlic and Worcestershire sauce give the dish its traditional flavor. 

Find More Instant Pot Recipes!

All About Roux

Roux is made from equal parts flour and oil, and it is used to thicken soups and stews. It is made by heating the oil, whisking the flour into the oil and then cooking them together.

Roux is generally classified by color, which is determined by how long it is cooked. The longer it is cooked the darker the roux gets. It also develops a nutty, deeper flavor as it cooks.

A traditional Creole or Cajun gumbo recipe will frequently suggest cooking the roux for 30-45 minutes, stirring constantly, to get a dark roux.

In this recipe I only cook it for 10 minutes, which gives me a pale brown roux. This works for me, but you can certainly cook it longer if you want a dark roux.

Tip: You can’t control the saute function temperature on an Instant Pot, which means it might cook the roux at a higher temperature than is ideal. If you really care about getting a perfect roux I suggest cooking it in a pan on the stove where you have more temperature control.

gumbo in a bowl with a spoon and crackers

How to Make Instant Pot Gumbo

1. Brown the Sausage

Set the Instant Pot on saute and add the sliced andouille sausage. Stir it to brown both sides, then take it out and set it aside for now.

browning the sausage
Brown the sausage

2. Deglaze

Add a little bit of the chicken broth to the inner pot and stir to deglaze the Instant Pot. Make sure there aren’t pieces of sausage stuck to the bottom of the pot. This decreases the chance of getting a burn error later.

3. Make the Roux

Add the oil and flour to the Instant Pot and stir them together. Cook them, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until it has a pale brown color.

making the roux
Roux after 10 minutes

4. Cook Vegetables

Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery to the pot. Stir to mix them with the roux and cook them for about 5 minutes.

adding green peppers and onions
Add vegetables

5. Pressure Cook

Add the browned sausage, gumbo file, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth to the pot. Stir to mix everything together.

gumbo before pressure cooking
Combine everything except the shrimp

Then add the can of tomatoes, dumping it on top but not mixing it in. Leaving the tomatoes on top decreases the chances of getting a burn warning on the Instant Pot.

Set it to Manual, high pressure, for 10 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for it to reach pressure and start counting down.

6. Add shrimp

Once it has finished cooking quick release the pressure by turning the valve. Then take off the lid and stir the shrimp into the gumbo.

adding shrimp to the gumbo
Adding the shrimp

Put the lid back on and let it rest for 5 minutes to heat the shrimp.

How to Serve

Traditionally gumbo is served over white rice and sprinkled with green onions. You could also use brown rice, another grain like quinoa or just eat it as a soup.

I like to serve it with cornbread or hush puppies. If you want to add a vegetable then corn on the cob or a green salad are delicious sides.

bowl of gumbo in front of pressure cooker

How to Store

Gumbo stores well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It tends to thicken a bit as it cools so you might want to stir in a little water or chicken broth when reheating. 

To reheat it put it on the stove in a saucepan and heat it gently, or put it back in the Instant Pot on saute for about 10 minutes.

It also freezes well and will keep in an airtight container for 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it on low heat.

Variations

The type of meat included in the stew can vary. You can add chicken or crab meat, leave out the sausage or remove the okra if you aren’t an okra fan.

Gumbo recipes can vary widely and it makes sense to customize it to your tastes. Use fewer veggies, add cayenne pepper or skip the sausage. This is a basic gumbo recipe, change it up to make it your own.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

Gumbo is a stew that is served over rice. Jambalaya is a dish where the meat and veggies are cooked with the rice. I think gumbo is a little bit easier to make and more forgiving.

How can I prevent a burn warning?

The Instant Pot burn error occurs when the inner pot gets too hot. Some of the ways this recipe tries to prevent this are deglazing after browning the sausage and not stirring the tomatoes into the broth.

Some Instant Pot models seem to be more likely than others to give this error. I’ve never actually seen it on mine, although I know some of my readers have when using my recipes.

If you know your Instant Pot gets too hot then another possibility is not using the saute function at all and browning the sausage, making the roux and cooking the vegetables in a sauce pan on the stove.

Then combine everything in the pressure cooker. This generates an extra pan to wash, but it should eliminate the burn notice.

closeup of gumbo in a bowl

Find More Cajun Recipes

Yield: 6-8

Instant Pot Gumbo

closeup of gumbo in a bowl

Instant Pot gumbo is a delicious Cajun comfort food dinner.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Time to Reach Pressure 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package (12 ounces) andouille sausage sliced
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 10 ounces of frozen okra sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning  
  • 3 teaspoon gumbo file
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • 12 ounces small shrimp

Instructions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the sliced sausage. Cook it stirring, until it browns. Then take it out and set it aside for a few minutes.
  2. Pour a small amount of the chicken broth in the Instant Pot to deglaze it. Scrape the bottom and make sure no browned bits of meat are stuck to the bottom.
  3. Add the oil and flour and stir to create a roux. Slowly cook it and let it thicken for 10 minutes, until it is a light brown color. *See note below.
  4. Add the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic and cook them for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the browned sausage, broth, okra, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning and gumbo file. Stir to mix everything together.
  6. Dump the can of tomatoes into the pot, but don't stir it in. Leaving the tomatoes on top reduces the chances of getting a burn error.
  7. Seal the lid and pressure valve and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for it to reach pressure.
  8. Manually release pressure by flipping the valve open and stir in the shrimp. Put the lid back on and let it sit for 5 minutes to heat the shrimp.
  9. Sprinkle with green onions and serve over rice.

Notes

If you want a darker roux (which is traditional for gumbo) you can cook it for longer, up to 30-45 minutes.

You can't control the saute function temperature on an Instant Pot, which means it might cook the roux at a higher temperature than is ideal. If you really care about getting a perfect roux I suggest cooking it in a pan on the stove where you have more temperature control.

I make and test my recipes in a 6 quart Instant Pot. Another brand or size of pressure cooker might affect your results.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 1614mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 23g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

top view of instant pot gumbo
collage pin for pinterest gumbo
By on September 24th, 2021

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